I never go to premieres. Anything even remotely related to glamour gives me anxiety. I have visions of my name not being on the list, security guards descending and dumping me on the other side of the velvet rope. That’s why I arrived early to last night’s premiere of Friday Night Lights at Mann’s Chinese Theatre. Somehow, I survived “will call” so I raced ahead to the concession stand (before they changed their minds and kicked me out) and stocked up on the free goodies: two bags of popcorn, one for the pre-show and one for the movie.
I settled in to play a little passive “eye dart.” You know the eye dart game, right? It’s popular at premieres, when people dart their eyes around the room hunting for celebs. The best way to play is to just follow OPE (other people’s eyes), letting them do all the work! Passive eye dart. Then, I played the premiere guessing game, which consists of trying to figure out who’s who in the room and how they fit into the celebrity monster machine – fun! The great thing about the premiere guessing game is that it can last all night long. After the film, you go to the premiere party and you hunt down all your guesses. Then you pull up next to them, eavesdrop on their conversations, and within minutes you discover if you were right or wrong (’cause in Hollywood the only thing people talk about is what they do).
Sitting directly in front of me in the theater was a very unassuming black man with his white wife (girlfriend?). She had a camera and was taking pictures of the ceiling, the screen, the aisles. So I’m thinking a) parents of an actor in the film, b) college friends of an accountant who worked on the picture, or c) radio show ticket winners. The film starts and within the first few minutes I discover this unassuming man is Grover Coulson. OK, I didn’t discover his name until the credits; in fact, I’ve never seen or heard of him before. But let me tell you, he is the the very heart of the film, and I told him so (yes, I know, very dorky of me). The guy has about four or five lines, but I smell a best supporting actor nod!
Photo: Grover Coulson, right, with Derek Luke and Billy Bob Thorton